On writing and giving birth

Posted: December 26, 2007 in All and Sundry, Musings, Random Observations
Tags: ,

” To write is to die a little less when I die. To leave the children I did not have, to make people think a little more.” — Oriama Fallaci (Italian writer)

What a way to perpetuate the idea that writers do secretly wish to be immortals. Or even mothers giving birth to progeny that would not die. Of course, to be postmodern about it, the idea that works of art and literature held in high regard (read: those that belong to canon) stand the test of time is an illusion. Nothing is arbitrary in this world. There is what is called the discursive formation. So these children that writers write and leave behind are made accessible by the discourse of the publishing world, the literati, and so on.

But let’s not get into that. Sometimes, it is fun to imagine that writing is like giving birth to children. Sometimes, it is nice to swoon at the romanticism of it all. Never mind if these children won’t live forever. As long as he/she has given birth to something then life for a writer would be meaningful and significant.

Imagine not being able to write? Imagine staring at a blank page for hours on end, and not be able to type a single word THAT MATTER? Or a line that makes one think longer.

I dread those days when not one single idea comes to mind and I am left staring at the ceiling making patterns out of the swirls of white paint. Even more dreadful are days like this when I CAN WRITE, but I don’t make sense. When I am strongly drowning with such intense passion to write lines that leap and transcend the familiar, yet I can only write these lines now. Here. This feeble attempts at thinking and writing intelligent thoughts that aren’t even comprehensible.

What if I start with an abstraction? Passion. That is an abstraction, right? The rule is to make the abstraction concrete. Passion. Passion. I will write what comest to mind. Here goes:

“riding a motorcycle at full speed in an empty airstrip.”

“punching your face”

“holding you close and then squeezing you until you can’t breathe.”

“art. paint. drops of paint on white canvas. black swirls. a blot of red.’

“licking sugar off my palm”

“swimming in unknown waters.”


“keeping still.”

“shrieking until you become breathless.”
“dancing as if no one is watching.”

“saying goodbye.”

  1. Rona says:

    Hellooooo Claire!!!

    Finally i welcome you to visit my site…:) Please do check it out..I hope you’ll find somethin u like…everyweek i add something new..so do drop by all the time..hehehe

    miss u!

    Did you go on your Asia trip na??


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